sherlock: smirk

Reaction post: Sherlock 2x01

Holy crap. I do not think a piece of media has ever so fully delivered on every expectation and desire I had.

1. IRENE ADLER LIVES!!! IN YOUR FACE, GUY RITCHIE!!!!! Writers of the world take note - you do not have to fridge the lady to give the man interesting angst. Live awesome lady > dead awesome lady. And I love this Irene always and forever. She's so tough and smart and hard-boiled, living by her wits, and she never lets her fear show -- even though I know she must have been afraid. I know what my next fic-writing project is going to be. Or I will, as soon as I get a prompt post up next week. Please to be formulating your prompts now.

2. I really admire the pacing and editing of this show. Somewhere around the thirty minute mark, I thought I had been watching for an hour, but in a good way. The show is so dense and every interaction so loaded with chemistry that each minute developed both the plot and the characters. I feel like I got so much insight into the people I wanted most to know about.

3. Mycroft. Possibly a bigger piece of work than even Sherlock. Geez. I'm guessing Mummy Holmes is dead if he's drinking alone on Christmas? Works, I think. "You're the one who upset Mummy" - very loaded statement if we're talking about someone recently deceased. I think the backwards way he cares about Sherlock is the only way you can care about Sherlock (openly would probably not work) but it's also the only way Mycroft knows how to care about someone. And, clearly, he does care but his casual coldness about Sherlock and sex was chilling. Guess Sherlock is not the only asshole in the family.

4. Sherlock. Obviously so much more human than he pretends, and Mrs. Hudson seems to understand that better than anyone. When Mycroft told her to shut up and Sherlock yelled, it immediately added ten times more definition to his character. It's not that Sherlock doesn't care about people; it's that he's very, very picky about whom he cares. And then his loyalty is absolute. Also, I think fandom may well have called it right on the asexuality and/or virginity -- or, as Sherlock implied at the end of the episode, "almost." Maybe there has been one partner, but only the one? Which could be because Sherlock is asexual, but also because he genuinely could alienate everyone who was ever interested in him. Ouch, Molly. It hurt him to hurt her that way, but he just blundered into it because he doesn't seem to think of people as being interested in him. (And also because he was showing off because he is an arrogant ass who doesn't like to host Christmas parties in his flat.) I also was intrigued by the confirmation of the past drug problem. Again, one of those things I knew was there, but so satisfying to have it fleshed out a little.

5. John. Oh, John. When are you going to figure this out? And how awesome are the writers for actually being willing to go there? I loved the scenes where he's watching Irene whisper in Sherlock's ear, no doubt telling himself it's observational data, when he is quite clearly jealous. I would have loved a bit more story for John; I don't think he got quite the development that Sherlock and Mycroft did in this episode. Still, I like what they did with him in this episode - just the one conversation with Irene is very telling. "I'm not gay" = "I could not possibly have feelings for a man." Interesting that he thinks in that binary, and also logical given the time he would have grown up in. No doubt military life did not provide many opportunities for exploring his sexuality. I need to dust off that story I was writing about all the reasons John doesn't recognize his attraction for what it is.

I hope we get to see Sally and Anthea in the coming episodes. I hope my favorite ladies don't turn out to be throwaways.
I haven't seen the previous series since it first aired, so I was actually convinced that the lady who picked John up to go to the factory was Anthea. Which made me all kinds of happy because it seemed to pretty much validate the Bandit Queen fic which you recently recommended. But sadly it doesn't seem to be so. :-(
I wondered if they had substituted a different actress for her, but alas, no. I hope Mycroft is not the sort with lots of disposable female assistants. I'd rather think that Anthea is like his Watson.
This fulfilled every single one of my expectations and then exceeded them. I loved Irene Adler and I can't wait for writers more talented than I to do justice to her.
It was kind of like watching a giant amalgamation of all the fanfic I've read this year, except more awesome. I don't know about the more talented part, but if you come up with some prompts for Irene, I will do my best to do her justice!
This ep exceeded expectations on every possible level. I can't even be coherent about it yet. Think I'll need to watch it a few more times first.

But yes, what they did with Irene Adler's character was marvelous to behold. And all the interactions between Sherlock, Irene and John were thrilling yet also painful to observe.
I'm glad I have some other Sherlock afficionados on my flist! You should put up a reaction post after you're done digesting :)
John's conversation with Irene was my absolute favorite scene out of such a fantastic episode. He says, "I'm not gay," implying that he doesn't feel That Way about Sherlock and Irene fires back with, "I am," and she, of course, does feel that way (or is at least trying to get everyone to believe she does) about Sherlock. Being a couple, loving someone, it's not always sexual and what I got from that exchange is that the writers know that and that they're not just going to play John and Sherlock's couple-like relationship for laughs this series.

I have a feeling that by the time the three episodes are over, I'm going to be an utter mess of Feelings.
I have a feeling that by the time the three episodes are over, I'm going to be an utter mess of Feelings.

Yes, me too! I'm really curious where they're going with John and Sherlock's relationship - it seems that they are giving it some serious consideration, more than John just being annoyed that people think they're a couple. I like your interpretation of the John and Irene conversation. I quite liked it, but I wasn't totally sure what all of it meant. I think I need to go back at watch Mark Gatiss' commentary on some of series 1; rumor has it that he's a John/Sherlock shipper, though I don't know if that's factually true or fannish longing.
Reading some of Gatiss's comments and interviews, I do believe that he's always been something of a John/Sherlock shipper, but I don't think they're going to push that relationship any further than the original canon. I can see them going the route of Heterosexual Life Partners, where they're the most important person in the other's life, and leave everything else up to interpretation. In fact, I hope that's the way they go with the relationship. I tend to view Sherlock as asexual (or possibly demisexual), but he has a definite regard (that could eventually turn into love) for John and I want, more than anything, to see Sherlock accept that and try to fit it into the way he views the world, and I don't think that would be possible if the writers put Sherlock and John into an irrefutable romantic relationship.

Or maybe they could; I've seen it done wonderfully in fanfic and if there's one thing I know, it's that the show's writers can one-up us without even trying. ;)

Sorry about the word vomit everywhere; I just have a lot of Feelings right now.
Oh, don't apologize! I am all full of feelings too, and it's fun to talk about them. I think my desire to see a romantic relationship between them has more to do with my own status as a queer person. I would like very much to see more open queer relationships in my media, and John's seeming confusion resonates with a lot of my own experience. That said, I would be quite happy with the hetero life mate storyline as well. I think the really important part is that they are each the most important person in each other's life.
That certainly makes sense. And I have to say, part of the reason I want their relationship to be asexual/platonic life partners is down to my own asexuality and seeing so much of myself in this version of Sherlock. That's not to say that I don't love the idea of them in love because I do; I just don't necessarily see there being a sexual component to that love. But, yes, no matter what else, they are the most important person in each other's lives, and I hope that won't ever change.
Oooh, this episode was a delight. First, IRENE LIVED, thank God. So relieved on that score. I was punching the air when I heard Sherlock's phone going off at the end.

And man, now you're starting to get me to hope the writers really WILL go there with John and Sherlock, just because--WELL. And now you've got me wanting to write FIC. (although seriously, NOT UNTIL MY WIPs ARE DONE!)
I am relieved that Irene lived too! The storytelling possibilities are much more interesting when she's alive than when she's dead. I keep wondering if we might see her again in a later series.

And yeah, I'm not exactly one to see slashiness in a series, but it seems kind of explicit here. I'm not sure if they will go all the way to an official or physical relationship, but it seems they are at least acknowledging that Sherlock fills the "significant other" role in John's life, regardless of a sexual relationship between them.
Saw it tonight, and I think I may have read some tumblr posts that ruined it for me (a bit). Irene was brilliant--I just found it a bit disappointing that it was her ~*~feelings~*~ for Sherlock that defeated her.

Because honestly, it seems like a bit of a male fantasy that these women (Molly, Mrs. Hudson, and Irene (who even said she was gay)) should all love him when he has nothing loveable about him. (Kind of like Dexter, maybe? I've only seen a couple episodes of that show, so I'm not sure, but it seems like the ultimate dude fantasy that they can be insensitive and cold and cruel and still have girls love them.) To Mrs. Hudson at least he is loyal. I found Sherlock's triumph over Irene and her later rescue to be disappointing, particularly given how well she played everyone in the first 80 min. of the episode.

And it's not that she shouldn't have feelings for Sherlock because having feelings makes her weak and detracts from her strength as an independent woman, or any of that nonsense--more that her downfall seemed to fit into such a pattern of 1)present awesome lady 2)prove that she is awesome 3)rob her of agency in the end.

My hope is that she'd planned the whole thing--she'd given such convincing performances of vulnerability throughout the show. My hope is that she was still manipulating the situation to her advantage, but it doesn't really look that way from the ep.

Anyway, this is what's been plaguing me after watching the episode. There was MUCH to enjoy (the Battle Dress? BRILLIANT!), but this bit keeps nagging. But, hey, at least she survived!
I can understand being disappointed by that, but for me, it was easier to accept because both characters were equally ruined by their feelings -- Sherlock much more so than Irene, IMHO. Sherlock spoiled an entire anti-terrorist operation and was humiliated for it, and it seems that the feelings he had were far more significant than sexual attraction. Irene liked Sherlock, and made a poor decision about a password because of it, but I don't think that her feelings had nearly the same significance as his did. And honestly, it would have hurt me a lot in the end if Sherlock's feelings had been entirely unreciprocated. That said, I do wish that Irene had saved herself at the end. I am glad that she survived, but the whole thing was just a bit too implausible for my taste. What the hell was she doing in Karachi when she clearly needed to hide from angry terrorists? And how could Sherlock possibly have infiltrated that operation? I would have much preferred to see her get out of the situation by her own wits than to be saved by Sherlock ex machina.
Definitely agree. I found it first rate. When Sherlock pops on that deerstalker as a disguise-- my neighbors must have heard my howls of laughter. So perfect.

Loved the relationships being developed, loved the deepening of Sherlock's character. I guess I'm in the minority in not seeing anything gay about him and Watson-- to me, they have that deep bond of friendship/shared danger that doesn't need a sexual component to exist. But I have a friendship kink and really get off on those bonds. I didn't read his expression as "jealous" but embarrassed-- to be seeing this intimate look at his flatmate flirting falls into the TMI category. That's how I'd feel about it. But go for whatever interpretation pleases you most.

Mostly, I just loved the writing (well, and the actors who portrayed it so well). This was nonstop enjoyment, with so many twists in the last 10 minutes it was a continual train of delight. Super stuff. Really looking forward to next week's episode so I can wallow some more.

Anthea was a bit of a blip for me, but I certainly expect to see more Sally. I expect at least one of the shows will have more of her and the Yarders-- Lestrade certainly will be in pursuit of the Hound, if they even remotely follow the novel (which I'm sure they will). Yay!
I'm usually one of those people who can't see gay relationships between male characters, but it seems awfully explicit in the writing here, most particularly in the way the other characters read their relationships. Even if Sherlock and John never have a sexual relationship, I do think they are occupying the "relationship" role in each other's lives, if that makes any sense.

And I agree -- the writing was wonderful, exceptionally tight and streamlined, and filled with witty one liners. I cannot wait to see the next two episodes...and the third series which I hope will follow.